While doing a bit of research for my Postcolonial module, I came across this picture. It struck me and after a few minutes passing with me staring at it, I felt tears trickle down my cheeks. The dominant thought being that I couldn’t picture living in a place like that, with the different assumptions on race governing the liberties that I’m now accustomed to. I take the train regularly, visit the coffee and book shops freely without facing as much malice. If I was to wake up in that world (which is what is seems like, an ancient and almost forgotten world), I would have little to do than to weep in the face of a stone and seemingly immovable sense of injustice.
This picture reminded me of the suffering that the preceding generations endured: the birth-pains of the social order that we (collectively but still with resistance) are trying to figure out and forge. I suppose like Newton, “If I have seen further, it is only by standing on the shoulders of giants”. There is a sense however, within which to really understand how far I can see, I must look down and acknowledge the resolute hearts and minds on whose unctions I stand.
On The Shoulders Of Giants I weep
I suppose, standing in my solitude swept away from indemnity,
the calamity of the moment is the fact that for all his polity,
Old Adolf had a taste of what it meant to loose in love.
Split like tinder under an axe by nocuous axioms
into the lines sightlessly inscribed for the blind
I’m certainly not playing bingo tonight.
This sky is too weak to support my happy-time dreams,
and my castles like the indiscriminate rain will fall.
This bus will stay here, awake, colorless, with me.
I, like the wood and brick, will – for now – skip the passerby’s eye.
© Denis Adide 2010
A little bit about the pic:
Found it on wikipedia while looking into the Jim Crow Laws. These were a set of rules that governed how people of different races interacted with each other following the American civil war in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. I urge you all to check em out.